Warriors take home title
Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 13, 2005
By DAVID FOLSE II
RESERVE – Home field advantage never felt so good.
Playing in front of a boisterous hometown crowd at Regala Park, the 9-year old St. John Parish Warriors took home the Dizzy Dean State Championship with a perfect 4-0 record.
Sandwiched between a 9-5 and 9-8 victory over North Plaquemines, the Warriors defeated Harahan, 10-6 and St. Bernard, 15-6 en route to the championship.
The Warriors now advance to the Dizzy Dean World Series in Memphis, Tenn. The World Series will be held July 22-27.
“The last couple of years we weren’t able to accomplish this feat,” Warriors Head Coach Bobby Gibson said. “But I just have to congratulate my kids for working hard enough to come away with a state championship. We concentrated on small ball throughout the tournament and it took us to the championship. When we would get into situations with runners on base, we turned into a small ball team.”
Gibson said it was especially very exciting to win the title at home.
“It was great,” Gibson said. “To win the state championship at home should be a great thrill for the parish.”
Parish Recreation Director Errol Manuel said he was very proud of his squad.
“These kids did a great job,” Manuel said. “They held home-field advantage. I had said heading into the tournament that I was a little concerned because there had not been that many friends and family that had seen them play in the state tournament before.
“They started out slow almost in every game, but in the end they were able to come out on top and get the victory. This team never quit. They fell behind 6-0 in the championship game, but they never gave up. That’s a remarkable effort for 9-year olds. They never thought that they were so far behind that they could not come back and win the game. I was really impressed with that.”
Manuel echoed Gibson’s thoughts on the home crowd.
“The fan base was outstanding,” Manuel said. “Being that it was our first state tournament that we hosted, they made a lot of noise. I was really impressed with the crowd.”